GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 November) – The city government is pushing for a public-private partnership for the operation, maintenance and further development of its sanitary landfill (SLF) complex.
Nael Cruspero, head of the City Planning and Development Office, said they are currently working on forging a joint venture agreement with the private sector to transfer the management of the 63.3-hectare facility in Barangay Sinawal.
He said the move was aimed to upgrade the operations of the SLF and address various management concerns, among them the handling of collected wastes and its declining capacity.
Cruspero said the landfill is currently facing problems with the processing of the collected wastes due to improper segregation.
He said that ideally, only the 10 percent residual wastes should be disposed in the landfill while the rest should be segregated and processed for composting and recycling.
The SLF, which opened in May 2016, only has one waste cell that is already nearing its allowed capacity, he said.
“It has allotted area for expansion but it was decided during our planning that we should look for a (private) partner that will manage and operate it,” Cruspero said in a radio interview.
The local government, through the waste management office, took over the operations of the P219-million SLF complex three years ago following the expiration of the “design, build and operate” contract with R-II Builders Inc. and the Philippine Ecology Systems Consortium Inc.
The agreement then was supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau.
Cruspero said a private consortium had submitted an “unsolicited proposal” to manage and operate the sanitary landfill for at least 25 years, with the project costing around P100 million.
He named the proponent as East Asia Sheng Tai, a consortium composed of the East Asia Solutions Technology Corporation, Sheng Tai Energy Technology Company, and Dr. Lin Shing-Chou.
A project briefer said the proposal involves the operation and maintenance of the sanitary landfill facility, and the establishment and implementation of a waste conversion program.
The proposed joint venture agreement was aimed to extend the life of the SLF and improve its capacity.
Cruspero said East Asia Sheng Tai has so far passed the city government’s three-stage evaluation process, specifically in terms of technical, financial and legal aspects.
But he said the selection process is currently under competitive challenge after several companies also submitted proposals regarding the project.
“We will follow the processes of the competitive challenge and eventually choose the best (joint venture) partner for the city,” he said.
Once the details of the proposed joint venture are ready, Cruspero said they will submit it to the city council and seek the issuance of authority for City Mayor Ronnel Rivera to sign the agreement.
Citing their timetable, he said they are targeting to sign up the most qualified private sector partner in the first quarter next year. (MindaNews)